It’s that time of the year again, when the sun stays out well past 6 pm, ice candies are always tempting and dogs roam the streets with their tongues hanging out. Several NGOs, big and small, organise drives to put out water bowls to quench the thirst of our urban wildlife. If you’ve often felt an inclination to go out and join them but something always came up, you’re not the only one. Work, chores, the hundred little things on our ‘to-do’ list, are always pushing these resolutions to tomorrow.
Read on to find out how ordinary citizens, without a lot of time on their hands, manage to make a big difference just by putting a bowl of water out.
Step 1: Get a Bowl, Any Bowl
Mrs. Deepika Muralidhar, a concerned citizen, says – “I bought cement pots off the footpath, they cost about Rs.100 for the large pots. These tend not to get stolen as they’re heavy and not very attractive anyway. But they do the job.”
Ambika, Managing Director @ Coffeegraphy – “I don’t have specific terracotta and bowls that I put out. I use makeshift containers or vessels that we no longer use. As long as they’re clean and can hold water and food. The goal is basically to provide these creatures with clean water so they have a way of surviving summer in this urban jungle”.
(You can also source water bowls from NGOs around the city, numbers and addresses listed at the bottom)
Step 2: Clean It and Fill it Up!
“We’ve put a row of bowls on the main road of our layout so they’re more accessible. I fill them up before I head out to work, and it takes me about 20 minutes a day fill them up and feed my streeties. Which is a really short time that we can easily devote to help these animals.” – Anushree Thammanna, Concerned Citizen.
Neelima Sadanand, Ace in Social Media Content, shares, “It literally takes 5 minutes to fill the bowl..10, if you need to clean it out. It’s so simple that we keep one throughout the year. I live in an apartment building, so we put a bowl out for the birds. First there were plenty of sparrows and now we have a family of squirrels that have taken over the balcony.”
Debaleena Ghosh, Animal Rescue Worker, shares a unique idea – “To prevent bowls from getting broken or stolen, I’ve found that appealing to people’s superstitions is very effective. I mark the bowls with some haldi kumkum, drape some black thread around it. I’ve noticed those bowls are safer. Try and find a slightly secluded spot to hide from humans, animals will definitely find them. Another way is to fix it to the pavement with white cement.”
Step 3: See the Difference
“My water bowls aren’t just visited by dogs, even cows and birds come for their fill. The one we’ve kept on our roof attracts plenty of birds who come for a daily bath.” — Cheryl Vinita Braggs, Writer.
“It began as a common-sense thing, it was hot, water bodies had dried up so I put out bowls of water. Soon, small birds like Bulbuls became regular visitors. My cousin has a farm near-by and his water bowls attract hawks, kites and even owls. We all need water, big or small.” — Nanditha Chandaprakash, Wildlife Writer
Perhaps Neelima summed it up best when she said “Why do I do it? Coz they’re so cute, and so small. And it’s so hot!” I guess it boils down to whether your one bowl really makes a difference. Will it change the world? Probably not. Will it make a difference to your corner of the world? Definitely.
Water Bowl Project in Bangalore:
The Water Bowl Project is simply about ensuring all creatures, big and small, get through the summer with the simple act of putting a bowl of clean water out.
Vidhu Goyal – 8123589479
Yeshwantpur, Magadi Road, HSR Layout
Sunny Hastimal – 9844203467
Sanajana – firstname.lastname@example.org
*Photographs from the Galleries of Cheryl Vinita Braggs, Anushree Thammanna, Neelima Sadanand, Nikita Tandon, Nanditha Chandaprakash, Gagan Palkar, Vidhu Goyal and Debaleen Ghosh.